Poverty being one of the biggest problems in India, millions of people in India die due to chronic hunger and hunger-related diseases, every year. In spite of that, we keep wasting food, throwing away what we don’t eat, week after week! In the midst of this, in an attempt to contribute to the society and feed the needy, Minu Pauline, the owner of a restaurant chain in Ernakulam, Kerala, has installed a fridge outside the restaurant, accessible 24*7, where the restaurant keeps 50 food packets every day, and people willing to donate excess food are requested to do so as well!

public fridge for poor

Picture Source public fridge for poor

Pauline runs Pappadavada, a popular food joint in Kochi, with a second branch in MG Road. During the inauguration of her second outlet on March 23, Pauline got the community fridge installed under a tree outside her restaurant. Calling the initiative ‘Nanma Maram’ or ‘virtue tree’, Pauline said,

Anyone can leave leftover food here in this refrigerator so that it can be a solace to the hungry and the starved. We named it ‘Nanma Maram’.

Ensuring that her restaurant keeps at least 50 food packs in the fridge, daily, the less fortunate ones who cannot afford a meal are invited to come and take food as they please, at any time of the day, or night. She also invites hotel owners, locals and even residents, to donate excess food packets as there’s almost always some leftover excess food in households, which end up in their own fridge, for days. Instead, she urges people to give it away to the homeless. She also requests people to make sure the food is fresh, pack the food in clean, properly sealed containers, and mark the date of preparation on the containers, so that her restaurant can check and take out the food that expires.

public fridge for poor

Picture Source public fridge for poor

The restaurant bears the electricity bill for the fridge and makes sure to clean it twice a week. A CCTV camera has also been installed for security. Pauline, who started Pappadavada in 2013, after quitting the banking industry, said, public fridge for poor

Food is a precious gift from nature, and people should not waste it. The sole purpose of this initiative is to give this food that is in excess for some, to those who are less fortunate to buy it.

Perhaps we could also learn something from her and maybe take a minute to think about how we could also do something little for the needy, just by ourselves, regularly?

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